CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Anti-Defamation League launched an investigation Thursday after a plane, carrying the Palestinian flag and banner with a provocative message about Antisemitism, was seen flying over the Harvard campus.
A group claiming to represent Jewish students said they hired a plane carrying the message “Harvard hates Jews” to circle over Harvard and other Ivy League campuses over the next “several days.”
A video sent to Boston 25 shows the plane circling over the Cambridge campus on Thursday afternoon.
The ADL New England released a statement on social media, calling the plane’s banner “disturbing.”
According to a statement sent to Boston 25, the student group says this in response to “the runaway antisemitism” on the university’s campus.
This comes amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, which sparked numerous protests and demonstrations that have been held on college campuses, including at Harvard.
Harvard is one of several colleges being investigated by the Department of Education over alleged incidents of antisemitism and Islamaphobia.
“After this week’s pathetic and morally bankrupt testimony by university presidents when answering my questions, the Education and Workforce Committee is launching an official Congressional investigation with the full force of subpoena power into Penn, MIT, & Harvard and others,” Rep. Stefanik said. “We will use our full Congressional authority to hold these schools accountable for their failure on the global stage.”
Harvard President Claudine Gay was one of four Presidents grilled during a five-hour hearing Tuesday into how their institutions had responded to instances of antisemitism on campuses, which caused significant backlash.
Gay responded to the question saying that when “speech crosses into conduct, that violates our policies.”
Her response was cited as a motivating factor by the student group that hired the plane. “This rise of antisemitism has been either ignored or even endorsed by the universities’ leaderships,” the group said.
Their statement went on to say, “Jewish students nationwide felt threatened and abandoned by Gay’s lack of response.”
Harvard released a statement Thursday that said it would cooperate with the investigation.
“Harvard’s work to combat antisemitism in our community is advancing with the highest commitment and attention from University leaders. The University looks forward to sharing information with the Committee as it pursues its inquiry,” the statement said.
According to one of the students who organized the aerial campaign:
“The American college campuses have become toxic dumps filled with Jew hatred and anti-Israel violence. Harvard’s logo “veritas” is the Latin word for “truth” and the banner flown over Harvard skies reveals the painful truth behind the reality of this institution today: what was once the symbol of dignity and tolerance, has sunk deep into an oblivion of hatred and lies. The terror flag and jarring banner will circle over their heads until they can’t hide anymore. In the 1930′s the Harvard Crimson recommended a Nazi for an honorary degree from the university – might just as well present it now to President Gay. Stop the Jew hatred and the violent Israel bashing on campus now. We’ll keep this going as long as the Administration keeps flunking this exam.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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